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John Wayne Slept at This Very Place That Is the Oldest Continually Operating Lodge in Arizona



There are plenty of good accommodations scattered throughout the state. But if you want something historic, and has traces of a popular actor who has starred in many Wild West films, then you might want a detour to Molly Butler Lodge. This place still carries its charm, even after existing for over a hundred years. Check it out:

The Story of the Oldest Continually Operating Lodge in ArizonA: Molly Butler Lodge

Molly Butler Lodge greer arizona

Source: Instagram

You might be curious about the history of such an old lodge. Well, it all started in a place now known today as Greer. It was once a tiny Mormon settlement filled with verdant meadows and beautiful woodlands. While it offered its dwellers plenty of trout, it has little in the way of creature comforts.

Looking to do something more, they were tasked to complete chores around John and Molly Butler’s homestead in exchange for a hot meal and a roof over their heads. In 1910, Molly’s daughter thought of officially making it their business and to charge visitors 25 cents per meal. From there, the Butler Lodge was born.

Molly Butler Lodge Guest List

old Fireplace photo

Source: Instagram

In the early years before World War I, Molly Butler Lodge’s guest list included adventurous enthusiasts such as Zane Grey, Stewart Edward White, and James Willard Schultz. Lew Wallace and Herbert Hoover also stayed here. There was also a time when the notorious Smith brothers (part of the country’s meanest desperadoes) slept in the lodge still wearing their guns. The accounts say she was sleeping with her children upstairs, and the brothers were just downstairs.

Aside from that, movie legend John Wayne also slept here. How cool is that? The lodge continued to operate for more years, and it became home to casual passersby who also loved the beauty and dynamics of mountain living. After Molly’s passing in the 1960s, her daughter Hannah built a rustic structure on the site of the original family home to expand the lodge. She created two dining rooms, a cozy fireplace-furnished anteroom, four small guestrooms, and even a bar so their guests can unwind.

She renamed the business, Molly Butler Lodge.

The Lodge Remained the Heart and Soul of the Community

Molly Butler Lodge az

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Perhaps it had something to do with the homey atmosphere and hospitable acts of the Butlers. But when its new owner Allan Johnson bought the property, he realized that the lodge still captured the hearts of the locals. While the population is relatively small, he also appreciated the heart-crazed individuals who drop by during summertime. The number explodes to anywhere between 2,500 and 3,000 individuals.

Today, It Is the Premiere White Mountains Destination of Families and Friends

Greer az

Source: Instagram

Greer is a wonderful place to go to if you are after some peace and quiet. It is one of Arizona’s most prized destinations because of its charm and scenery. Today, locals still drop by Molly Butler Lodge to relax and have a good time. It doesn’t hurt that the beautiful natural scenery is a bonus.

Some would opt to drink to their heart’s content, chill by the pool, or just have fun conversations with friends. If you are looking for a fun night, they also have a poker game on Wednesdays.

The little slice of heaven leaves no room for boredom as guests may play in the game room. It features competition shuffleboard and a 64-inch TV with Nintendo Wii. On the other hand, those who prefer a more “lively” experience may block a date from their calendar to attend the never-ending roster of events, including live music every weekend.

Relive the Wild West Days at Molly Butler Lodge

Wild West lodge interior

Source: Google Maps

If you book your stay in the lodge and decide to stroll around, you will be in awe of the front deck and the massive stone fireplace reminiscent of the cowboy days. The rooms are no different because it holds some cowboy artifacts, and is adorned with numerous trendy lamps and plush retro pillows. Talk about cowboy-chic! The pressed-tin ceilings and reclaimed wood also solidify the vibe even more.

Once you are famished, head straight to the restaurant and order a hefty and delicious serving of their steak. The wine list and desserts do not disappoint too. While you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, here are some recommendations for when you visit:

Molly Butler food az

Source: Instagram


Molly’s Wings. Available in half dozen or dozen in the following flavors: BBQ, Buffalo, Spicy Thai, or Teriyaki.
Molly’s Hot Dang Chili. Indulge yourself in this fan-favorite snack which is prepared with the restaurant’s famous prime rib.
Sirloin Burger. This Gold Canyon Angus Beef charbroiled with your choice of side remains a classic.
Southwest Turkey Melt. If you want something more loaded, try this Melt that is prepared with roasted green chili, bacon, and pepper jack cheese on grilled sourdough.


Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail. Order this delicious dish chilled or breaded.
Fried Calamari. Every guest is crazy about the calamari. It’s time you find out why!
Molly’s Special Steak. Don’t leave without trying this favorite steak smothered with tasty Mormon gravy.
Grilled Salmon Fillet. Make dinner special and try this fillet served with homemade teriyaki glaze.
Moly’s Famous Prime Rib of Beef au Jus. This is probably the most famous dish in the restaurant.

What You Should Know

Historic molly butler Lodge az

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Molly Butler’s Restaurant & Bar Operation Hours:
Dinner: Nightly from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Lunch: Saturday to Tuesday from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm
Bar Hours: Kindly inquire or call for current hours at 928-735-7226

  • Reservations are suggested before you come to the Molly Butler Lodge.
  • The restaurant is recognized as one of Arizona’s Top 25 Restaurants by Arizona Highways Magazine.
  • Another accolade of this lodge is its recognition and ranking among the 101 Best places To Eat in Arizona by Dining in Arizona
  • American politician Herbert Hoover also gifted Molly Butler back in the day with the White House Cookbook from which she obtained her award-winning Prime Rib Chili recipe. It is served daily at the historic Molly Butler Lodge. Try it!

Website: www.mollybutlerlodge.com
Location: 109 E. Main Street Greer, Arizona 85927

This lodge is not as popular compared to other fancy accommodations in Arizona. But it’s something else, don’t you think?

If you want to discover more beautiful and chill places, check these out: This Beautiful Arizona Inn That Embraces Its Spanish Colonial Roots Is the Only Thing Missing From Your Staycation and Staying at This Gorgeous Hotel in Sedona Will Leave You in Awe.